Aug 07 - 13, 2000
Separate support prices
for rice, paddy
The government would offer support price for rice and paddy, and a
policy would be made to provide better prices to their farmers.
This was decided at a meeting held on Thursday with Chief Executive Gen
Pervez Musharraf in the chair.
The meeting was informed that support prices for the new crops of wheat
and cotton (phutty) had been fixed at Rs300 per 40kg and Rs725 per 40kg, respectively.
The CE agreed with a proposal by National Security Council member Shafi
Niaz that support price for rice and paddy should also be offered to the farmers for the
He directed Food and Agriculture Minister Shafqat Ali Shah Jamote and
the NSC member to work out a rice and paddy policy with a view to providing better prices
to their farmers, official sources told.
He stressed the need for having a comprehensive 'agricultural marketing
policy' to deal with the export of surpluses. He directed that a committee be formed to
prepare comprehensive crop-wise proposals and institutionalize the agricultural marketing
The committee would be headed by Mr Niaz and Mr Jamote with
representation from the ministries of commerce and finance as well as the provinces.
Appreciating the efforts put in for the formation of the agricultural
strategy, the CE approved Rs5 billion for the development of various new avenues in the
A briefing by the agriculture minister focused on self-reliance through
food security, import substitution and export-oriented outlook. The aim of the agriculture
strategy is to maintain an annual growth rate of 5 per cent, increase productivity, reduce
input cost and make efforts for increasing competitiveness.
New Amnesty Scheme has higher tax rate
The government announced on Wednesday a new Tax Amnesty Scheme that
offers the holders of the undeclared assets and black money to whiten their resources by
paying an increased income tax at the rate of 11 to 14 per cent.
The new TAS beginning from Aug 3 will remain enforced till Nov 30 this
year without further extension. "No further extension in the new Tax Amnesty Scheme
and after Nov 30, those who would not opt for the scheme, will have to face tough
time", warned the minister for finance Shaukat Aziz.
Giving the details at a news conference, the finance minister said that
those who would opt for the new scheme in August will have to pay 11 per cent income tax.
Similarly, 12 per cent, 13 per cent and 14 per cent will have to be paid respectively by
those who would apply for the scheme in September, October and November, 2000.
New fertilizer policy in the offing
A new-fertilizer policy being prepared by the government to meet the
growing demand was discussed at a meeting of Minister for Industries, Production and
Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood with the representatives of fertilizer producers here on
Wednesday, an official press release said.
Razak Dawood assured the business community of a hassle free and market
driven environment. He said that government believed in transparency as it had consulted
all the stakeholders of the respective sector prior to formulating any policy so that a
level playing field was guaranteed to all.
He emphasized upon the need of maintaining self-sufficiency in
fertilizer production as the country had meagre foreign exchange earning as well as the
country's infrastructure had no strength to shoulder large quantities of fertilizer
Sugar holding period reduced
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) decided on
Wednesday to reduce the holding period of sugar in government warehouses from 90 days to
30 days to ensure that the commodity was quickly dispatched to the local market for
Advisory council soon
The Ministry of Information and Media Development has decided to
establish an advisory council on information and media development.
The main objective of creating the council is to enable the government
in general and the ministry in particular to benefit from the vast experience and the
valuable insights of private citizens from different fields who could provide independent
Privatization ordinance soon
An ordinance is likely to be issued soon to provide a framework for
resolving post-privatization problems, Privatization Commission Chairman Altaf M Saleem
told top bankers at the State Bank office on Monday. SBP Governor Dr. Ishrat Husain also
attended the meeting convened to discuss how best the banks can market the privatization
programme at home and abroad.
Citibank to participate in privatization
The Citibank has expressed its willingness to take part in the
privatization programme. Paul Collins, Vice Chairman Citibank called on Chief Executive
Gen Pervez Musharraf on Monday and evinced keen interest in the privatization
He said that Pakistan has highly talented and industrious professionals
as the Citibank has benefited greatly from their expertise.
The proposed merger of drug giants Glaxo Wellcome plc with Smithkline
Beecham plc in the UK is expected to become effective during the third quarter of the
current year, the board of directors of Glaxo Wellcome Pakistan stated on Monday.